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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Last Minute Gifts: Crabtree and Evelyn Biscuits, NYX Wanderlust Palette

The minutes are counting down to the Big Day!  Are you done your Christmas shopping?  Perhaps you are like me, still frantically scurrying around the shops.  This week threw all my plans out of the window.  The washing machine sprung a leak, causing an almighty mess.  I figured that, if I was going to call in a repairman, I might as well knock out a couple of other pressing repair jobs at the same time.  Haha, big mistake.  The promise of "No worries, we'll blast through the repairs in an afternoon" turned into a 3 day marathon.  Herewith are a couple of emergency last minute gift ideas in case you are stuck having to visit your local 24 hour pharmacy (or worse a gas station that has a mini mart attached to it) because the inlaws decided to spring a dropin on you.
Delicious edibles are always a safe bet.  They are gender free and don't involve too much thinking because, at this point, with your brain on overload, too much thought is contraindicated.

The Crabtree & Evelyn shop in Toronto only brings out their biscuits at Christmas time.  Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that, in other parts of the world, their mouthwatering bikkies are available year round.  This year's Christmas special is their All Butter Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuits.  The packaging is gorgeous, of course.
NYX came out with a selection of Wanderlust Palettes inspired by cities such as Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Paris, Madrid, London and Dubai.  I was really excited to pick up a few Toronto Palettes to give away but the colours were, in my opinion, astoundingly unwearable.  The lip creme was a dark gray/blue paired with gray eyeshadow.  I live in Toronto and have yet to encounter anyone wandering the streets in gray lipstick.  I suppose the intention was an edgy, goth vibe but it just isn't wearable on the regular unless you want to look like an extra off the set of "The Fifth Element."  I settled for Copenhagen which had a more on point selection of colours.

The lipcreme is a wearable nude and the eyeshadows, blush and highlighter remind me of Urban Decay's Heat Palette but at a price point that is a lot more bearable on the wallet.  Darn those Scandis!  Why do they get all the good stuff?

Wishing all of you a lovely Christmas!  Come and visit me on Instagram tomorrow @lheurebleuewithchloe for the last reveal of my Advent Calendar.

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Target Advent Calendar, L'Occitane, Smashbox, Daniel et Daniel Macarons

December is well underway and we are steadily marching towards Christmas.  Advent calendars weren't part of my childhood which might explain my undying fascination with them.  Imagine having a surprise to open up every single day for 24 days, culminating in the BIG DAY?  Of course, brands have caught on that Advent calendars aren't just for children anymore and every year brings forth a slew of them ranging from the affordable to the money-no-object showstoppers.  The packaging is usually uniformly so pretty it seems a shame to consign them to the recycling bin.  So, I thought how fun it would be to have an Advent calendar that isn't disposable, becomes a family heirloom that gets brought out every year and which can be customized.  Here is a wooden one from Target.

The first few days revealed a mulled wine infused macaron from Daniel et Daniel, a Smashbox lipstick and a L'Occitane shea butter lip balm.

I have been vlogging the Advent Calendar reveals over on Instagram so click the blue button on the right to see me in action!  Follow me @lheurebleuewithchloe and say "Hi!"

This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Mindful Black Friday Sale Haul: Sephora, Tarte, Becca, Muji, J Crew, New Balance, Rockport Mary Jane Shoes

How did you make out with Black Friday?  I have never been one of those people who line up on the sidewalk at 2 am in the morning.  These days I usually utilize Black Friday to get my hands on Christmas pressies at a price that eases the strain on my wallet and to get replacements for things that have long since bid goodbye to their best before date.  I have a running list in my head of needs balanced with wants.  I hesitated on calling my buys a "haul" and settled on calling them a mindful or intentional haul (only slightly less cringeworthy!).  Did you stop in at Sephora?  I do love checking out the limited edition boxed sets that brands come out with specifically for Black Friday and the holidays.  I picked up this boxed set from Tarte.

You get a blush in Ornate which is a lovely coral that I know will suit me to a "T", a mini lipstick called Surf's Up which is a warm brown pink, and their Lights Camera Lashes mascara.  The set that I got last year had a full size lipstick and I do wish that this year's lipstick was also full size but for $13.00 it is a screaming deal so I can forgive the mini sized lipstick.
I picked up this set from Becca.  I have never tried anything from Becca so I am really looking forward to acquainting myself with the Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight in Moonstone.

Becca's highlighters are known to be holy grail products so I was really pleased to pick this up for $20.00.
Next up, I think every beauty vlogger on the planet has stacks of Muji's acrylic storage cases sitting on her/his vanity.  Well, I am no beauty vlogger but I was growing tired of the mess on my table.  I have noticed that Muji's sales are far from being doorcrashers.  They are usually very sedate affairs but for this Black Friday, their acrylic storage line was 30% off.  Woot!

The long wide 3 drawer case was completely sold out so I had to settle for the smaller, 2 drawer case.  Now I know why this line is so popular.  The clear acrylic is so sleek and minimal and you can see at a glance what is inside and in which drawer.  Honestly, I could spend hours opening and closing the drawers.
Next, I have had a long standing love affair with Mary Janes in all its incarnations whether as a high heel, flat or wedge.  My old pair of wedge heeled Mary Janes were in a dire condition.  I tend to wear shoes until the straps and buckles are hanging by a thread, the leather is splitting apart and the soles are disintegrating.  Unless you have no choice, do not take frugality to the extreme like me.  I am worried that I have permanently broken my feet as a result.  So I was thrilled as anything to pick a new pair from Rockport.

What, Rockport, you say?  Gone are the days when I would make a beeline for the stilettos whenever there was a sale.  These days, the question in my mind is "Can I walk in them?"  Rockport has a line called Cobb Hill which is slightly dressier but still prioritizing comfort.  Hopefully, I am not in granny, orthopedic shoe territory just yet and these Mary Janes ride that comfortable yet pretty line just right.  The fact that they are riffing off Chie Mihara shoes but at a much more affordable price point doesn't hurt either.
Last but by no means least, are a pair of sneakers by New Balance for J. Crew.  The soles of my last pair of sneakers literally separated away from the shoe so a replacement was most definitely in order.

To be honest, I am still on the fence about these.  I love the crisp contrast between the navy and the white and the slight retro vibe.  But now I am wondering whether they are a bit too retro?  What do you think?  Yay or nay?
And that's it!  Let me know of your Black Friday scores and adventures!

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Acqua Di Parma Holiday Gift Sets

The great thing about Autumnal birthdays is that one can take advantage of holiday gift sets that only appear in the shops at this time of year.  Monsieur had a birthday recently and I took the opportunity to pick up this gorgeous showstopper.

Monsieur does love his smellies and his number one favourite is Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza which strikes that magical balance between crisp citrus top notes and heady woody base notes.  Acqua di Parma don't release holiday sets of all their fragrances and, sadly, Acqua di Parma has not offered the gift set in Colonia Essenza for a couple of years now.  If Acqua di Parma is reading this, please bring that back next Christmas!   I had to settle for giving him the Colonia gift set instead (pictured above) which he deemed a close second with its notes of lavender, damask rose mingling with the citrus over a base of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli.  I got it at Saks Fifth Avenue but it is also available at Holt Renfrew.  It is a great deal as the cologne bottle is the large 100 ml one and it comes with travel sizes of body creme and shower gel.  On its own, there is no doubt  that even the smallest 50 ml bottle will set you back a big chunk of coin so getting a large size and a couple of extras in a handsome presentation box helps ease the pain. 
Another Acqua di Parma holiday gift set is their Blu Mediterraneo.  This one has of orange, mandarin, and lemon essential oils over notes of petit grain, cardamon, caramel and musk.  This isn't one of Monsieur's 

favourites but fragrance is such a personal preference, you or someone you know might fall head over heels for it.
And we mustn't forget the ladies!  

They already had me with the packaging which is just so pretty.  This fragrance has Sicilian mandarin, Calabrian bergamot, and pepper, middle notes of peony, violet, lily of the valley, Italian centifolia rose, and finishes of cedar wood, ambergris and musk.
If like me, you have family members whose birthdays fall smartly right after Christmas, then you probably experience brain fry at the very thought of having to do more shopping.  And let's not forget that the dreaded Valentine's Day is just two months after Christmas.  Over the years, I have learnt to double up with my shopping especially if the gifts are unique items that disappear like snowflakes once the holidays are over.  And yes, of course, they make glorious Christmas gifts as well!

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

LBH October Favourites: Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise versus Nars Eye Paint, John Frieda Colour Deepening Treatment and Shampoo

October is done and dusted and, scary thought, we are marching steadily towards Christmas.  Around this time last year, I was thinking about holiday makeup and obsessing about Nars Eye Paint in Iskandar which is a lovely antique gold.  I noticed that my little pot was nearly out and was about to get another when I heard that Nars, sadly, was no longer cruelty-free.  This is a point of difference that may or may not matter to you but I thought that this was a good opportunity to stop in at the Charlotte Tilbury counter.  Charlotte Tilbury is, thankfully, cruelty-free.  I walked away with this.

Yessssss, a pot of Eyes to Mesmerise in Bette.  Charlotte Tilbury describes it as an amber gold and it does have more of a warm, bronze undertone to it compared to Nars' Iskandar which has more of an olive undertone.  Bette has a mousse-like, whipped, light as air texture to it which allows it to blend like a dream.   I have used it on top of eyeshadow powder and underneath without incident. 

Because it is waterproof, Iskandar has a stiffer consistency and once it is on, baby, it is there to stay.  This is fabulous if you are living in a tropical environment or dealing with a hot humid summer day but you have to work very quickly before it sets and it does crease and crack.  I did find using an eyeliner over Iskandar to be very difficult.  Bette is touted as long wear but not waterproof.  What I love about Bette is that it is so easy to apply and is highly pigmented with hardly any creasing. Basically, it is a "one and done" miracle in a pot.  The Nars pot has a fill of .08 oz and Charlotte Tilbury has a fill of .24 fl oz.  Both Charlotte Tilbury and Francois Nars are luxury brands so this type of comparison is, I think, a bit more of an even comparison than, say, comparing a luxury brand to a drugstore brand.  I think I will be investigating the Charlotte Tilbury line a lot more in the oh-not-so-distant-future.
Next up, is John Frieda's Colour Deepening Shampoo in Brilliant Brunette.  Because I have never dyed my hair before, this is my way of sticking a pinky toe in that pool.  I like that it is a shampoo so I don't really have to go out of my comfort zone or out of my daily routine to play with my hair colour.  

It is supposed to infuse rich, dark tones to natural brunette hair.  The effect is quite subtle.  I notice the change in tone more where the light hits my hair.  The shampoo came bundled with the Colour Deepening Treatment.  The treatment only takes 5 minutes (but is not recommended for gray or blonde hair).  I do love 2 for 1 deals, don't you?  Funnily enough, I found this on an end cap at my local grocery store.  I didn't see it at any of my local pharmacies.  I noticed that the shampoo also came in multi-tonal and blonde highlights formulas.  Have you tried John Frieda before?  If you are interested, keep an eye out for the 2 for 1 bundles as there were only a few left at my grocery store.

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 30 October 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Ralph Lauren Crawley Tote, J Crew Ankle Boots

Although I have always leaned towards black accessories as a wardrobe staple, in the last few years I have begun a love affair with caramel tones.  These luscious shades of tan can range from the lightest butterscotch to a deep caramel and their warm hues transition so well from the height of summer to the colder months. Sometimes, a bit of visual warmth instead of the moody severity of black is needed to offset the chill of a Canadian winter.  A late entry to my Autumn capsule wardrobe is this lovely little number from Ralph Lauren.

It is the Crawley tote and was a surprise gift from Monsieur.  I suspect it was an effort to placate to me when he arrived back from his impromptu solo vacation.  It is just the right size, not big and not too small and I know the leather will wear very well.  I really like the fact that it zips shut at the top.  I have the perfect pair of ankle boots to pair it with.

I got these gorgeous J Crew ankle boots a few years ago but seldom wear them due to the preponderance of black handbags in my collection.  I really love that the gold hardware on the tote pairs with the gold buckles on the boots.  Even though I got these boots a while back, J Crew tends to produce iterations of well known classics every season and their boots are no exception should you be inclined to check out their A/W lineup.  Bring on Autumn, I'm ready!

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 23 October 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: J Crew, LOreal Magic Roots Cover Up, Haagen Dazs Ice Cream

Bring on Autumn!  Having a capsule wardrobe, means that a change in season elicits enormous excitement at the prospect of changing over one's wardrobe.  With the addition of this cotton eyelet blouse from J Crew, my wardrobe for Autumn is just about set.

via jcrew.com

Even though it shows up as white in the catalogue, it is a dark cream in real life.  It has bell sleeves which are the sleeves of the season and it looks really nice with a bright cardigan thrown on top.  
I have never coloured my hair in my life but, lately, have been toying with the idea.  My hair stylist warned me that, if I go that route, I will be colouring my hair forever.  If any of you colour your hair, please chime in with your comments!  I picked up a can of L'Oreal Magic Root Cover Up in Dark Brown because I wanted to try out what it would be like to colour my hair without actually having to commit to it.

There is a thin straw coming out of the nozzle which you aim at your roots.  I don't have a huge swathe of grey roots showing so I sprayed it at my head in a somewhat haphazard manner.  The force of the spray took me by surprise.  For some reason, I expected a wet, inky jet to come squirting out and not a fine, powdery mist.  I think it takes a bit of practice as I had to rub in the excess with my fingers.  It is good for one shampoo so no worries if you mess up.
And lastly, what to do when Old Mate announces that he is going on vacation WITHOUT ME and only tells me 48 hours in advance?  This...

The horrid diet goes flying out the window, that's what happens.  By the way, the above ice cream tastes like a frozen pina colada which is not a bad thing in such circumstances.  The next thing that happened was a decluttering marathon of all his shiz that has been annoying me since, umm, forever. Pffttt.  Let's see if he is brave enough to dare complain when he gets back.  Adios until next time!

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